Over my skin – My acne journey [Part 3]

Over my skin – My acne journey [Part 3]

Helurrr beautiful people and welcome to my 3rd and (possibly) final post on my skin journey. Check out Part 1 where I give a brief overview of what my skin has gone through and share some pictures, and Part 2 includes details on skincare products that didn’t work for me (if you haven’t already – but you would have because you love me and my blog, don’t you?)

This part is about my current skincare routine (which is pretty simple actually) and more detail on what the actual products do for your skin. As always, I am in no way promoting any of these brands. I am simply sharing my experiences so that you can make informed decisions when spending your hard earned cash. I also urge you to do further research because I am no expert, however I am more than happy to answer any questions that you may have so please comment and let me know.

I had my follow-up dermatology visit a few weeks ago and he’s advised that I need not continue with my antibiotics – these were prescribed to treat the bacteria causing acne and inflammation. He did suggest that I continue using the gel he prescribed every other night as it contains benzoyl peroxide which will help lighten my scars over time. I know that some people choose to go for dermapen treatments and chemical peels, however I am still really scared of undoing all the progress that I’ve noticed with my skin. I know these treatments are there for treating scars and stuff, but there isn’t a guarantee that my skin won’t react badly – my skin is like me during the time of the month that satan visits : I REACT BADLY TO EVERYTHING! I might look into it sometime in the future, but for now I’m keeping it simple and giving my skin a chance to live it’s best life. Plus I’m not looking to spend anymore money – my bank balance is sadder than the casting of 50 Shades of Grey.

 

The Cleanse.

To start with, I wash my face every morning and night with the Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar. The first piece of advice that my dermatologist gave me was to use a gentle cleanser – nothing with beads or anything abrasive as this will irritate the skin and cause further breakouts. I was a little confused because my skin was a mess and I thought that I needed something strong to literally scrub the crap off my skin – BUT he was prescribing medication to treat the actual bacteria and inflammation so it would make sense to be gentle with the aftercare. I must admit that carrying a bar of soap around (to gym and when I’m travelling) is not the most fun I’ve had, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I wrapped that bad boy in some tinfoil and I was sorted :). It is worth mentioning that I did try their Dermacontrol Oil Control Foam Wash before purchasing the cleansing bar, however the foam wash didn’t really help with my breakouts and my skin felt way more irritated. Also, I’m old-school and I prefer something that actually lathers and the cleansing bar did that for me. I use a silicone cleansing pad atleast 3 times a week after I’ve exfoliated just to make sure I’m getting rid of any dead skin cells and I ALWAYS use lukewarm water to rinse because using hot water washes away essential oils of the skin leaving it dry and using icy cold water on the face irritates the skin and breaks the capillaries.

Currently on promotion at Dis-Chem for R87.80 (normal price: R109.75)

 

Toning up.

I use plain Rose Water. Yep, that’s it. I spritz/pour a little on a cotton pad and just gently wipe it over my face after I cleanse. This helps get all those impurities/dead skin cells that you may not have gotten rid of by just washing your face. I also just spritz it over my face with/without makeup just to refresh it during the day. Rose water is known for having amazing properties for the skin and hair. I’m just going to list a few of the benefits for the skin below:

  • Helps maintain the skin’s PH balance and controls excess oil.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties which is great for problem skin.
  • Cleanses and aids in removing oil/dirt from clogged pores.
  • It is good for hydration and overall texture of the skin.
  • It also has anti-bacterial properties, which is great for healing scars/wounds/cuts, etc.
  • Antioxidant properties helps to strengthen and regenerate skin tissue.
  • Anti-aging helps with fine lines and wrinkles over time. It is never too early to start.

You can check out more information here if you want to see what it does for the hair and other uses.

Available at Dis-chem for R34.95

 

Moisture IS the thing.

We all know that problem skin is caused by many different factors, however, lack of moisture is right up there as one of the main causes. If your skin is dry and not getting enough moisture, it is going to panic and try to make up for the lack of moisture by producing sebum, which then leads to clogged pores. You can get more information here on different issues that arise from not moisturizing. It is extremely important to ensure that you are not overcrowding your skin with anything oily/greasy as this will just add to your already stressed out skin. Tissue oils were not recommended by my doctor as he advised that they would just clog up my pores even more. What you want to look for is a label that states “oil-free, fragrance-free, noncomedogenic” because your skin does not need anything more than hydration. I picked up this Cetaphil moisturizer and have not put it down since. It is slightly runny in texture, but absorbs really nicely into the skin leaving it feeling soft and hydrated. On colder days I tend to add a little extra because the weather tends to dry my skin but a pea-sized amount is enough for my face and neck. It is for sensitive skin so I know that it is going to be kind to me and not cause any riots. I get my Cetaphil products from Dischem/Clicks (depending on which store I am closer to at the time).

Currently on promotion at Dis-Chem for R159.95 (normal price: R199.95) 

 

The Sun is not your friend.

Irrespective of whether you have problem skin or not, you should be incorporating an SPF into your morning routine (and your kid’s!) because the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation has been proven to cause skin cancers, as well as premature skin aging. You can find out more on this article and check out what actually happens. My dermatologist did recommend the Cetaphil Daylong SPF50+ Liposomal Lotion as he said it was effective and affordable. Read the excerpt below on what Liposomal sunscreen actually is:

“Sunscreens usually fall into one or both of the following categories; physical or chemical. Physical sunscreens literally create a barrier between your skin and sun’s rays, whereas chemical sunscreens are absorbed by the skin and protect it from the sun from the inside. Both formulas have pros and cons, but we know we have to use them, physical sunscreens carry less risks but are sometimes thick and greasy, whereas chemical sunscreens are usually easier to wear but carry risks in the unknown long-term affects of applying the sun-safe chemicals to our bodies.

Liposomal formulations are a new category altogether. The liposomes sink only into the top dead skin cell layer of the skin — no absorption into the blood stream — so lessening the chemical risk factor, but as it’s still absorbed, there’s no greasy finish.” – source

I used the Daylong SPF for 2 months but found that my skin was extremely greasy throughout the day and like all sunscreens, it had a slight purple color which I hate. It didn’t cause any breakouts but I just didn’t like the way it sat on the skin and how greasy it felt. Once my antibiotic treatment was over, I tried The Body Shop’s Skin Defense multi-protection essence (sounds so wonderful!). It was way smaller in size and more expensive but I had read really good things about it drying down matte! It has an SPF of 50 so that was a plus. It states on the tube that it is “a feather light, milk-to-water essence with broad spectrum UV filters, brightening red algae and antioxidant Vitamin C, to help protect skin against multiple skin aggressors, while providing utmost comfort.” This is my favorite SPF – like EVER!!! As the description suggests, it is rather runny in texture but it dries down matte and it smells so lovely! A pea-sized amount is all I need and it also sits really nicely under my makeup. It is slightly pricey for the amount of product that you get, so if you do have a good SPF, rather stick to it. I’m sure there are other more affordable SPF’s, even moisturizers with an SPF, so please do some research and check out people’s reviews before buying.

Available at The Body Shop for R220

 

Do you even multi-mask bruv?

“Exfoliating is an essential way to manage breakouts and acne. Many of us recognise the importance of cleansing our skin but under-estimate the power of exfoliating. A deep exfoliation will help to un-clog your pores from excess oil which can lead to breakouts. Therefore, if the excess oil and dirt is removed from the root of the cause, the amount of breakouts will most likely reduce.”- source

You can go to salons to have these done, however once again – bank balance is as happy as a Deer during hunting season. I use the L’Oreal Pure Clay masks at least twice a week. This is just to get rid of any oil/dirt build up during the week and also just to relax and have some ‘me time’. I use the purity and the glow mask because I have different skin concerns on different parts of my face. For example, my T-zone is rather oily while the rest of my face can tend to be drier. I use the purity mask to mattify/purify and the glow mask to brighten and exfoliate. These masks are really great and leave my skin feeling polished and clean.

The Purity mask “is a creamy mask that works deep into the pores for a thorough cleanse and exfoliation. At the same time, it mattifies and brightens the skin for a radiant appearance.” It dries down quite quickly and I leave it on for about 20 minutes – you can actually see the oil being sucked out of my pores and it looks oddly satisfying!

The Glow mask “brightens and exfoliates for youthful looking skin. The beaded, creamy texture illuminates tone by exfoliating the skin’s surface without drying it out.” It has red-algae extract which exfoliates the skin and removes all the gunk that normal cleansing doesn’t get to. It feels rather grainy in texture so once it’s dried down, I add a little water and gently massage my face with my fingertips before rinsing with lukewarm water.

Makeup application is so much smoother after this so I also multi-mask if I’m going out for the night/a special occasion.

Available at Clicks and Dis-chem for R119

Multi masking : I apply the purity mask to my T-zone and areas where I usually get oily. The glow mask is applied to the rest of my face

Close up! You can actually see the oil being sucked out of my pores (those small white spots) and my skin looks and feels so much cleaner after!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, I want to highlight the fact that dealing with acne at any point in your life can be difficult. It can really affect all aspects of your life and puts huge strain on your ability to maintain a positive outlook on life. It is not superficial, but deeply rooted within your emotions and can be as mentally frustrating as it is physically. I want you to remember that it is NORMAL and whilst makeup may serve as a temporary cover, our sanity is way more important. I wish you self-love and acceptance through whatever it is that you are dealing with.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this 3 part series and I would love to hear your thoughts/stories.

Until next time
xx

A review that I didn’t make-up. (See what I did there?)

A review that I didn’t make-up. (See what I did there?)

Helurrr all you gorgeous people! I have been in absolute awe of the support and sweet words I’ve received since my last post, so I would like to start off by saying THANK YOU.

Now let’s get into it! Today I will be reviewing some of the products that I have recently purchased through various retailers/platforms. (Also due to influence from various youtubers – I’m such a bad/good influencee lol). Without further ado, here they are – in no particular order.

 

1. Tarte shape tape contour concealer.

It is no surprise that this concealer has been raved about by errbody in the beauty industry so obviously I needed this in my life. Let’s start off with some history on Tarte cosmetics and it’s founder, Maureen Kelly. This amazing company was started in her very own one bedroom apartment in 1999, purely with the need to create a cosmetic line that was not only cruelty free and good for you, but was glamorous and chic. Fast forward 18 years and she has lived up to that! The shape tape is described on their website as “A best-selling, full-coverage, vegan, blendable concealer that instantly brightens, smooths & shapes skin.” They also state that one shape tape is sold every 26 seconds – how crazy is that?! Don’t believe me? Check it out here.

Price: R320 (Their official website does ship internationally, however the associated shipping costs and customs/taxes pretty much end up around the same as ordering from re-sellers in South Africa.) I am not sure about costs regarding other countries but their website sums it all up for you. With shipping costs of R240 and customs/taxes of around R300, I ended up forking out just above R800 for this bad boy. Plus I had to wait a month for it to arrive and I am probably THE most impatient person. They do offer free shipping for orders over R1042, so if you’re looking to splurge then yay for you!

Formulation/texture/coverage: Their claim of full coverage is not to be taken lightly – literally. The tiniest bit of products blends out and covers for days! So I know this product is definitely going to last me a while. It is such a lightweight formula, yet the visible difference is amazing and you don’t even need setting powder. I bought the shade medium (I am an NC42 in Mac Foundation) and the highlight and coverage it provides is gorgeous!

Packaging and a surprise: My package arrived with the nastiest SARS stickers all around the box, but when I opened it…there was a little card with a discount coupon and the sweetest words on the back. Then I found unicorn wrapping paper and I felt all fuzzy inside. The shape tape is 10ml of product and is a pretty decent size tube with a wand to match. I didn’t even mention the best part – a free sample! These are obviously not guaranteed with every order but you might be lucky! I chose the lights,camera,lashes 4-in-1 mascara and it is so adorable! I must say that the little touches they added (and the free gift + discount coupon) made me feel a little better about the amount I spent on shipping and customs.

 

2. Milani conceal + perfect 2-in-1 foundation + concealer

Whoa that’s a mouthful! Also a very bold statement. Milani cosmetics founded by brother and sister, Laurie Minc and Ralph Bijou is known as a ‘drugstore foundation’. “Inspired by Milan” – they encompass “rich, lush, with more diversity in shade range.” Unfortunately, the drugstores in South Africa don’t stock this brand so I purchased mine from the Makeup Shack.

Price: R289 (I think it was on special but it usually retails for around R300. Shipping was R80 so 10 points for affordability!)

Formulation/texture/coverage: The name in itself promises to be the only thing you need for flawless skin (so no shape tape? Now you tell me!) It feels really smooth on application and blends out really well. It has the best scent I have ever experienced with a foundation – it smells of cinnamon!(I love the smell of cinnamon so I am very biased on the smell lol). The smell does fade (awh man) so dont worry, you’re not going to be a walking cinnabon. (That is a very delicious thought though, ain’t it?) I will say that is it definitely full coverage for the most part but I did feel like I needed my shape tape for my under-eye circles. I do have a really dark under-eye area so definitely a personal preference. My T-zone is oily so I did need to blot during the day, but the foundation wore pretty good.

Packaging: I’m sure this will vary with different re-sellers, I received my bottle in bubble wrap which I loved. Yes, I love bubble wrap, don’t judge me. The bottle is 30ml of product which the norm, and has a pump. The pump has to be my favorite thing when it comes to foundation, so another 10 points! I am the shade 07 – Sand, which is the tiniest bit darker than my actual skin but after highlight, it looks just right.

 

3. Benefit bigger and bolder brows kit.

This amazing company was founded all they way back in 1976 by Jean and Jane Ford. What was named the ‘Face Place’, transformed into ‘Benefit Cosmetics’ in 1990. Only recently introduced to the South African market through Edgars and Red Square stores, these counters have literally changed my brow game. Not only do they provide awesome products, they give advice on your specific brow/skin concern. While we’re on the topic, thanks to Rubybox’s latest promotion, I got a free wax and brow styling session. The stylist at the Red Square in Canal Walk, Cape Town, Chante was an absolute doll. I am been a victim of over-plucked eyebrow syndrome and this woman was phenomenal! From her personality, to the products and advice she gave me, I left that counter a very happy woman! This would usually cost R145 – with that experience, I am definitely going back next month. I’m sorry, I digress. I just had to mention it! Back to the kit. I got mine from the Benefit counter at Edgars in Canal Walk (I shop there a lot, I know).

Price: R475 (Red Square has it reduced to R403,75 here)You’re getting close to R900 in products so this is definitely a massive save.

Formulation/texture/coverage: The kit includes brow stencils, a high brow pencil (full size), Ka-Brow! (full size in shade 5) and the ready,set, brow! gel (travel size).

 

  • The Ka-Brow! is my favorite brow product ever. It is the cutest thing ever and fills in your brows perfectly with the smallest amount of product.

 

  • If you’re new to this, then the stencils really help with giving you guidance and the brush is the perfect size to do your thing. Trust me, soon you will be free styling because this product is creamy and blends out so naturally – although you can build up the product if you need those dramatic looks.

 

  • The high brow pencil is pink in colour but adds the best highlight under your now perfect brows – it is sooo creamy, makes everything look super clean and blends out so good!

 

  • And the cream cheese frosting on the red velvet cupcake is definitely the ready,set,brow!gel. This little baby is perfect to just seal in your masterpiece and the wand with the dual sided bristles is perfect for sculpting. Those brows ain’t budging until you use your micellar water, girlfriend.

 

Packaging: The box itself is a pretty tin which makes pack-up-and-go super easy. You know your products are not going to budge in those indented foam inners. The actual Ka-Brow! pot, ready,set,brow! gel and high brow pencil are beautiful just to look at. These are the kind of products you want to take everywhere and show off because they were designed so impeccably. Definitely a good buy for a girl who just wants to have a brow game.

 

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on these products. As I mentioned on instagram, my content is not limited to a specific topic/category, so let me know what you would like to read more about and I will be more than happy to do my best. This was a bit of a lengthy post, but there’s so much I wanted to share on these products/brands and I feel I needed to inform people who may be thinking of investing in them.

Remember that you are getting my completely unbiased opinion on these reviews and that all products were bought by me. I’m just going to keep it real.

Thank you for reading
xx